Are mortars and /or cannons an NFA item?


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bkjeffrey
March 14, 2010, 03:01 AM
Specifically things like these? This thing will shoot to the moon.....I think.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Z-lkE7Bxmk

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CleverNickname
March 14, 2010, 04:14 AM
No, muzzleloading black powder cannon/mortars aren't destructive devices.

bkjeffrey
March 14, 2010, 04:19 AM
gotcha, thanks.

kingpin008
March 14, 2010, 11:00 AM
I'm pretty sure that if the bore is greater than .50" they are.

TexasRifleman
March 14, 2010, 11:41 AM
I'm pretty sure that if the bore is greater than .50" they are.

There are exemptions for some things at the end of 18 u.s.c 921(a)(4):

The term “destructive device” shall not include any device which is neither designed nor redesigned for use as a weapon; any device, although originally designed for use as a weapon, which is redesigned for use as a signaling, pyrotechnic, line throwing, safety, or similar device; surplus ordnance sold, loaned, or given by the Secretary of the Army pursuant to the provisions of section 4684 (2), 4685, or 4686 of title 10; or any other device which the Attorney General finds is not likely to be used as a weapon, is an antique, or is a rifle which the owner intends to use solely for sporting, recreational or cultural purposes.

RyanM
March 14, 2010, 01:09 PM
In that definition, "antique" pertains to the ignition source, rather than actual age. If it uses a cannon fuse, friction fuse, matchlock, flintlock, caplock, etc., then it's an "antique." The only black powder muzzleloaders, i.e., "antiques," which would be regulated under the NFA, are machine guns, IIRC. So hooking up an old black powder gatling gun to a steam engine is illegal.

TexasRifleman
March 14, 2010, 02:01 PM
Correct.

(16) The term “antique firearm” means—
(A) any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898; or
(B) any replica of any firearm described in subparagraph (A) if such replica—
(i) is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition, or
(ii) uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States and which is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade; or
(C) any muzzle loading rifle, muzzle loading shotgun, or muzzle loading pistol, which is designed to use black powder, or a black powder substitute, and which cannot use fixed ammunition. For purposes of this subparagraph, the term “antique firearm” shall not include any weapon which incorporates a firearm frame or receiver, any firearm which is converted into a muzzle loading weapon, or any muzzle loading weapon which can be readily converted to fire fixed ammunition by replacing the barrel, bolt, breechblock, or any combination thereof.

FuzzyBunny
March 14, 2010, 03:20 PM
I'm pretty sure all cannons of any size are legal in Texas as long as they are smoothbore.

I might be wrong as I have not looked at the law on them in years.

JShirley
March 14, 2010, 04:28 PM
It wouldn't matter, because a smoothbore cannon that was not black powder would still be federally regulated.

I'm pretty sure that if the bore is greater than .50" they are.

Making about half muzzleloading rifles and muskets destructive devices, even when they have an effective range of less than 100 meters. :rolleyes:

John

kingpin008
March 14, 2010, 05:09 PM
Ok, ok. So I had it wrong. :uhoh:

PTK
March 15, 2010, 09:40 AM
Keep in mind for the mortar/cannon to be legal, only designs that were around pre-1898 and reproductions thereof are legal. Example - even if it's percussion/fused/flintlock, a Stokes mortar (the father of the "modern" style) is illegal.

I know TexasRifleman posted the law saying as such, but putting that in plain language never hurts.

JShirley
March 18, 2010, 08:45 AM
PTK,

It's my understanding that any black powder design* is legal, no matter when the device was actually designed- see "C".

*unless the firearm was originally designed to use cartridges, and has just been modified to use BP.

RyanM
March 18, 2010, 05:22 PM
My understanding is the same as JShirley's. For instance, in-line rifles, NAA black powder minis, etc.

or any muzzle loading weapon which can be readily converted to fire fixed ammunition by replacing the barrel, bolt, breechblock, or any combination thereof.

Interesting, I never noticed that clause before. That would explain the legality of conversion cylinders for revolvers. And I guess barrel sleeves, too, since that's not "replacing" the barrel.

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